Monday, 28 October 2013

This week's playlist

Connie Lush - "Morning Blues"
Keb' Mo' - "Last Fair Deal Gone Down"
Scott Holstein - "Boon County Blues"
T-Bone Walker - "Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just As Bad)"
Jim Allchin - "Stop And Go"
The Rides - "Can't Get Enough Of Your Love"
Jack Kelly and His South Memphis Jug Band - "Red Ripe Tomatoes"
Bare Bones Boogie Band - "Passion And Pain"
Keb' Mo' - "Keep It Simple"
Sunday Wilde - "Captured Me"
Funkyjenn - "Boom Boom"
Keb' Mo' - "Muddy Water"
Sugaray Rayford - "I'm Dangerous"
Sugaray Rayford - "Two Times Sugar"
David Shelley and Bluestone - "When I Was Your Superman"
International Blues Family - "Cavern Crawl"
Cyril Neville - "You Can Run But You Can't Hide"
Otis Taylor - "Sit Across Your Table"
Keb' Mo' - "Love Blues"
Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown - "Choo Choo Boogie"

Featured Artist: Keb' Mo'

Keb' Mo'
(born Kevin Moore, October 3, 1951)
Guitarist/vocalist Keb' Mo' draws heavily on the old-fashioned country blues style of Robert Johnson while keeping his sound contemporary with touches of soul and folksy storytelling. A skilled frontman as well as an accomplished sideman, he writes much of his own material and has applied his acoustic, electric, and slide guitar skills to jazz- and rock-oriented bands. Born Kevin Moore in Los Angeles to parents of Southern descent, he was exposed to gospel music at a young age. At 21, Moore joined an R&B band that was later hired for a tour by Papa John Creach; as a result, Moore played on three of Creach's albums. Opening for jazz and rock artists such as the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jeferson Starship and Loggins & Messina helped further broaden Moore's horizons and musical abilities.
Moore cut an R&B-based solo album, Rainmaker, in 1980 for Casablanca, which promptly folded. In 1983, he joined Monk Higgins' band as a guitarist and met a number of blues musicians who collectively increased his understanding of the genre. He subsequently joined a vocal group called The Rose Brothers and gigged around Los Angeles. In 1990 Moore portrayed a Delta bluesman in a local play, Rabbit Foot, and then played Robert Johnson in a docudrama entitled Can't You Hear the Wind Howl? He released his self-titled debut album as Keb' Mo' in 1994, featuring two Robert Johnson covers, 11 songs written or co-written by Moore, and his guitar and banjo work.
His second album, “Just Like You” saw Keb' Mo' stretching his legs by working with a full band and tackling several rock-based songs. The gamble paid off, as “Just Like You” won the artist his first Grammy Award. “Slow Down” followed in 1998 and netted Mo' another Grammy, and “Door” was issued two years later. “Big Wide Grin” followed in 2001, while 2004 saw the release of two albums, “Keep It Simple” and “Peace...Back By Popular Demand”. “Suitcase” was issued in 2006 on Red Ink Records. The self-produced “The Reflection” appeared five years later in 2011; the first release on his own label, Yolabelle International, the album featured guest spots from India.Arie, Vince Gill, Dave Koz, Marcus Miller, Mindi Abair, and David T. Walker.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Featured Artist: Odetta

Odetta Holmes
(December 31, 1930 – December 2, 2008)

One of the strongest voices in the folk revival and the civil rights movement, Odetta was born on New Year's Eve 1930 in Birmingham, AL. By the time she was six years old, she had moved with her younger sister and mother to Los Angeles. She showed a keen interest in music from the time she was a child, and when she was about ten years old, somewhere between church and school, her singing voice was discovered.Odetta's mother began saving money to pay for voice lessons for her, but was advised to wait until her daughter was 13 years old and well into puberty. Thanks to her mother, Odetta began voice lessons when she was 13. She received a classical training, which was interrupted when her mother could no longer afford to pay for the lessons. The puppeteer Harry Burnette interceded and paid for Odetta to continue her voice training.
When she was 19 years old, Odetta landed a role in the Los Angeles production of Finian's Rainbow, which was staged in the summer of 1949 at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. It was during the run of this show that she first heard the blues harmonica master Sonny Terry. The following summer, Odetta was again performing in summer stock in California. This time it was a production of Guys and Dolls, staged in San Francisco. Hanging out in North Beach during her days off, Odetta had her first experience with the growing local folk music scene. Following her summer in San Francisco, Odetta returned to Los Angeles, where she worked as a live-in housekeeper. During this time she performed on a show bill with Paul Robeson.
In 1953, Odetta took some time off from her housecleaning chores to travel to New York City and appear at the famed Blue Angel folk club. Pete Seeger and Harry Belafonte had both taken an interest in her career by this time, and her debut album, The Tin Angel, was released in 1954. From this time forward, Odetta worked to expand her repertoire and make full use of what she has always termed her "instrument." When she began singing, she was considered a coloratura soprano. As she matured, she became more of a mezzo-soprano. Her experience singing folk music led her to discover a vocal range that runs from coloratura to baritone.
Odetta's most productive decade as a recording artist came in the 1960s, when she released 16 albums, including "Odetta at Carnegie Hall", "Christmas Spirituals", "Odetta And The Blues", "It's A Mighty World" and "Odetta Sings Dylan".
In 1999 she released her first studio album in 14 years, "Blues Everywhere I Go". On September 29, 1999, President Bill Clinton presented Odetta with the National Endowment for the Arts' Medal of the Arts, a fitting tribute to one of the great treasures of American music.
The next few years found Odetta releasing some new full-length albums, including "Living With The Blues"and a collection of Leadbelly tunes, "Looking For A Home". She toured North America, Latvia, and Scotland and was mentioned in Martin Scorsese's 2005 documentary, No Direction Home. That same year Odetta released "Gonna Let It Shine", which went on to receive a 2007 Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Folk Album. In December 2008, she died of heart disease in New York.

This week's playlist

Big Woody - "Blues This Morning"
Odetta - "Deep River"
Fats Domino - "Boogie Woogie Baby"
Eric Clapton - "Mean Old Frisco"
Pete Johnson - "Boogie Woogie Man"
Jimmy McCracklin - "He Knows The Rules"
Leyla McCalla - "When I Can See The Valley"
Earl McDonald and His Original Louisville Jug Band - "Louisville Special"
Wily Bo Walker - "I Want To Know"
Chris Rea - "Boss Man Cut My Chains"
Odetta - "Go Down, Sunshine"
Chris Dair - "Leavin' Town Blues"
Jimmy Reed - "Bright Lights, Big City"
Odetta - "Make Me A Pallet On The Floor"
The Angel Band - "Bring It On Home To Me"
The Black Keys - "I'm Not The One"
Roomful Of Blues - "You Don't Know"
Jack Derwin - "Chemistry"
Odetta - "Believe I'll Go"
Detroit Memphis Experience - "Just A Little Bit"
Solomon King - "Bad To Me"
Solomon King - "Train"

Monday, 14 October 2013

This week's playlist

Dr. Feelgood - "Because You're Mine"
The Yardbirds - "I'm A Man"
Snake Mary - "Lay By The River"
Blind Lemon Jefferson - "Black Snake Moan"
Jimmy Dawkins - "Made The Hard Way"
JP Blues - "Keep On Walkin'"
Carolina Chocolate Drops - "Your Baby Ain't Sweet Like Mine"
Charlie Patton - "Going To Move To Alabama"
Doc Watson and David Grisman - "Blue As I Can Be"
The Yardbirds - "Jeff's Blues"
Drew Holcomb and The Neighbours - "Nothing Like A Woman"
The Yardbirds - "Steeled Blues"
The Rolling Stones - "Ventilator Blues"
Robert Johnson - "When You Got A Good Friend"
Led Zeppelin - "When The Levee Breaks"
Bobby Blue Bland - "Blues In The Night"
Little Willie John - "Talk To Me"
Soulstack - "Stone Cold Man"
No Refund Band - "One More Drink"
The Yardbirds - "You Can't Judge A Book By Looking At The Cover"
The Elmores - "Little Stevie's Shuffle"

Featured Artist: The Yardbirds

  The Yardbirds
The Yardbirds are mostly known to the casual rock fan as the starting point for three of the greatest British rock guitarists: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. Undoubtedly, these three figures did much to shape the group's sound, but throughout their career, The Yadbirds were very much a unit, albeit a rather unstable one. And they were truly one of the great rock bands; one whose contributions went far beyond the scope of their half dozen or so mid-'60s hits. Not content to limit themselves to the R&B and blues covers they concentrated upon initially, they quickly branched out into moody, increasingly experimental pop/rock. The innovations of Clapton, Beck and Page redefined the role of the guitar in rock music, breaking immense ground in the use of feedback, distortion, and amplification with finesse and breathtaking virtuosity. With the arguable exception of The Byrds, they did more than any other outfit to pioneer psychedelia, with an eclectic, risk-taking approach that laid the groundwork for much of the hard rock and progressive rock from the late '60s to the present.
The Yardbirds made their first recordings as a backup band for Chicago blues great Sonny Boy Williamson, and little of their future greatness is evident in these sides, in which they were still developing their basic chops. (Some tapes of these live shows were issued after the group had become international stars; the material has been reissued ad infinitum since then.) But they really didn't find their footing until 1964, when they stretched out from straight R&B rehash into extended, frantic guitar-harmonica instrumental passages. Calling these ad hoc jams "raveups," The Yardbirds were basically making the blues their own by applying a fiercer, heavily amplified electric base. Taking some cues from improvisational jazz by inserting their own impassioned solos, they would turn their source material inside out and sideways, heightening the restless tension by building the tempo and heated exchange of instrumental riffs to a feverish climax, adroitly cooling off and switching to a lower gear just at the point where the energy seemed uncontrollable. The live 1964 album “Five Live Yardbirds” is the best document of their early years, consisting entirely of reckless interpretations of U.S. R&B/blues numbers, and displaying the increasing confidence and imagination of Clapton's guitar work.
While Beck's stint with the band lasted only about 18 months, in this period he did more to influence the sound of '60s rock guitar than anyone except Jimi Hendrix. Clapton saw the group's decision to record adventurous pop like "For Your Love" as a sellout of their purist blues ethic. Beck, on the other hand, saw such material as a challenge that offered room for unprecedented experimentation.
It took years for the rock community to truly comprehend The Yardbirds' significance; younger listeners were led to the recordings in search of the roots of Clapton, Beck and Page, each of whom had become a superstar by the end of the 1960s. Their wonderful catalog, however, has been subject to more exploitation than any other group of the '60s; dozens, if not hundreds, of cheesy packages of early material are generated throughout the world on a seemingly monthly basis. Fortunately, the best of the reissues cited below (on Rhino, Sony, Edsel and EMI) are packaged with great intelligence, enabling both collectors and new listeners to acquire all of their classic output with a minimum of fuss and repetition.
Thirty-five years after their break up in 1968, original members Chris Dreja and Jim McCarty pulled together a slew of new musicians to record a new album under the Yardbirds moniker, titled “Birdland”, and followed it with a tour of the United States.